Decluttering and Downsizing

How to Downsize and Declutter Your Home for Retirement

If you’re thinking about downsizing and moving in to a retirement village, then here are some helpful decluttering tips. This can be a challenging time for you, especially after having made such a big life changing decision.

Decluttering may be the last thing you want to deal with or that’s even on your mind. However, it’s a very important part of downsizing and it’s best to make a start as soon as possible. It’s easy for others to advise you to be pragmatic about the process and even try to assist with influencing what you keep and what you throw away in the vain of being helpful. But we sometimes forget that some of your items have been with you for a very long time and may be treasured possessions or hold sentimental value in your life.

Our advice is to make a plan with a checklist. Look at the floorplan of where you intend to move to and what you can physically take with you. For example, bed size, lounge and dining suites, washing machines/dryers and fridge sizes etc. Then gradually work through the smaller items. Remember, this can be very emotional and it’s important that you are kind to yourself. Keep your end goal in mind as you go through the process.

Ask for help to declutter

Don’t be afraid to ask a friend for help when moving stuff around, or even to keep you company/advise on what to keep or get rid of. There are businesses that are here to help as well – check out our links below:

Decluttering tips when downsizing

  • Set yourself daily goals to go through your personal belongings and furniture. Set aside 30 mins per day with a view to focusing just on decluttering.
  • Think about your goal to reduce what you no longer need.
  • Create piles or containers for things you would like to keep, throw away, donate or sell.
  • Make a start on decluttering as soon as you can – don’t leave it until the last minute or you may become overwhelmed and either not start or throw out treasured possessions that you later regret.
  • Identify whether you ‘want’ to keep something and why, as opposed to ‘needing’ the item in question.
  • If you’re sorting through clothes – a good rule of thumb is that if you haven’t worn it in the last two years, you probably won’t wear it in the future, so why not give it to charity and let someone else benefit.
  • Focus on one thing at a time. Don’t try doing a little bit here and there as you’ll end up with one big mess! Finish one area at a time before moving on to the next.
  • Make a start on the practical items that don’t hold a sentimental value and you can make decisions on what you do with them easily.
  • If you’re downsizing on bed linen and towels, make sure you have enough items and keep only your favourites.
  • Great places to start your decluttering journey include your bathroom, under the sink, laundry room and cabinet, kitchen cupboards (bet you’ll find some old pantry items that are out of date that you don’t often use and make those decisions super easy!).
  • Make decisions based on your current and new lifestyle as you age, and not on what you used to do, for example, sports activities that you no longer participate in etc.

Hopefully there are some useful tips outlined here for you. If you have some time, research what other tips you can glean from the internet. You may find some that resonate more closely with your goals and how you like to organise yourself. For example, checklists and plans that detail exactly where to start.

Finally, our team at St Agnes’ Care & Lifestyle are always here to answer any questions and point you in the direction of local help available. We want your journey to be as seamless and stress free as possible, so that you can move in to our retirement village and settle in with ease.

For more information about our retirement villages and available villas, please get in touch with us.

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